Karen Livsey (716) 665-3168 - Town Historian
It is the duty of the Historian to collect and preserve material relating to the history of the Town and to make these records available to the public.
In 1808, the County of Chautauqua was formed and divided into two towns: Chautauqua in the East & Pomfret in the West. The Town of Ellicott was formed from this Township on June 1, 1812 and was named for Joseph Ellicott, who was the resident agent of the Holland Land Company. Ellicott originally included what are now the Towns of Busti (1823), Carroll (1825) and Poland (1832). Ellicott, along with Gerry & Hanover, was one of the first three towns admitted to the County following its original formation.
The first settler, within the present boundaries of Ellicott, was William Wilson. He came from Pennsylvania early in 1806 and settled on the north side of the Chautauqua Lake outlet.
The first election of officers for the Town of Ellicott was held on the first Tuesday of April 1813. James Prendergast was elected the first Town Supervisor and Ebenezer Davis was the first Town Clerk. After 1812, settlement in the area was rapid. By 1870 the population of the Town was 6,879. However, that number included VIllage of Jamestown residents.
In 1886, the Village of Jamestown was incorporated as a city and evolved from the original Town of Ellicott. Thus, today the Town of Ellicott surrounds the City on the north, east & west.
(For more detailed historical data see “A History of Chautauqua County” by Andrew W. Young)